Last weekend we had another mini adventure outside SP, our gypsy house guests Piero and Ana were still with us (as were the numerous late nights and hangovers that come with them) – so we decided to take them on an adventure and see the beaches to the east of SP.
For those of you who aren’t up on your Brasilian geography, SP is (unfortunately) not quite on the coast, it’s pretty close, about 85km from the centre of the city, or about 75km from our place.
The drive to Juguehy – half way between SP and Rio.
As you can imagine with a population of over 20,000,000 in SP, the nearby beaches are very popular. The closest beach is Santos which is also Brasils largest port. We drove through Santos on our drive and it’s a damn big port, the beaches there are pretty good – but as everyone kept telling us the beaches get better the further you are away from SP. So we headed to Santos then north up the coast. The coast is just beautiful, within 20 minutes of leaving Santos you are in really beautiful seaside towns with beautiful white sand beaches and big inland waterways and lush green rainforest. I was just stunning, we kept going up the coast towards Rio de Janeiro, stopping for quick feijoada lunch beside the beach and eventually stopping at the beach (or Praia) of Juquehy or (Juquei depending on where you look). Although there are many lovely beaches along the coast, Juquehy is more spectacular than the rest because it has a large mountain just behind it, so with the jungle like bush even round it’s even more spectacular! The town itself is also really nice, it seemed quite new and very well kept, it’s felt quite posh, there were loads of nice hotels apartments and restaurants and bars everywhere.
We didn’t book any accommodation which is fine now in winter but i would guess not a good idea in the summer months, even though I say “winter” again the weather was magic a nice 24 degrees during the day and lots of sunshine, overnight it was just cold enough to warrant a second layer, so not too bad at all.
We stayed at Juquei Hotel Pousada which was perfect as the restaurant was right on the beach, so we just had to cross the road for dinner and breakfast and we could sit right above the beach – after the noise and rush of SP it was just awesome! The hotel describes itself on it’s website as “the best localisation of the best beach of the Coast North” and whatever that means – we agree!
The beach at Juquei.
As soon as we arrived we went for big walk on the beach, the sand was white and clean, the water blue and the surf was good, there was loads of surfers out, and loads of people learning to surf at a couple of surf schools that were running on the beach. The water was just a bit cold for swimming, but only just, I imagine it must be awesome in summer.
These blokes were not quite sure if was warm enough to actually get under the water.
Of course because it’s Brasil the beach is also a place of business, it’s a bit of a surprise at first as it trading isn’t allowed on the beach in Oz or Nz. But as long as you aren’t pestered too much it makes spending a day at the beach much easier, every few minutes someone will come wandering past with hot corn, cold beer, ghastly sarongs and many other strange and wonderful objects for sale.
Maybe theres still hope for a last ice cream sale before it gets dark!
So we decided to settle down at one of the beer and caiparinha stalls on the beach and enjoy the sunset:
Beachside bar – now thats civilised!
Just a little drink heh Cath?
Ana is a bit thirsty after the walk along the beach
We had a great seafood dinner in the restaurant, even though the normal standard of seafood we get in SP is very high, it was great to have fresh prawns, fresh octopus and really fresh fish. We sat outside in the restaurant till late at night drinking too much Argentinean wine and eating way too much food.
On Sunday we had a quiet morning, a breakfast of fresh tropical fruit on the beach and another long walk on along the bay. We then sat and enjoyed the sun for a couple of hours,
Of course being four gringos we stood out like a sore thumb on the beach, the locals wear slightly less to the beach than we are used to, the gentlemen prefering a nice tight pair of budgie smugglers and the ladies in a brief as possible teeni-kini, here is couple of examples we picked up on this trip to illustrate the topic:
The classic brasilian budgie smuggler, you can dress ’em up and dress ’emdown!
If this isnt enough to put you off your lunch i dont know what is.
Just remember boys, getting amorous in your smugglers can lead to inconvienient things popping up!
So as well as laughing at this couple getting romantic in the sun, we had another great meal, this time grilled fresh fish with toasted coconut, rice and fried bananas while drinking fresh tropical fruit juices – I know it’s a tough life but someone has to do it! After lunch we headed back to SP, only 175km straight up and over the misty jungle covered mountains and straight home on the motorway.
Thus finished another top weekend and with adventures like this you see why we are really starting to love living in Sao Paulo!!!